Same complaints as the myriad of others who have posted about HughesNet.
- slow speeds (especially upload)
- frequent random errors while browsing
- phone technicians that don't know how to troubleshoot their product
- onsite technicians that are unprofessional and don't know how to troubleshoot their product
- horrendous, institutionalized customer service
I have been a DirectWay and then Hughesnet customer for about 4 years -- because I have no other choice. (Well, finally WildBlue, a competitor has emerged but, so far, online reports seem to be as poor for them as for Hughesnet.)
Browsing speed has always been far, far slower than advertised. I work in the computer industry so I understand how difficult internet over satellite is. And, I don't expect to get the advertised speeds. Those are best case scenarios. I get that.
I pay for the Pro Plus plan -- $79.99/month. Advertised is 1.5Mbps down/200kbps up. The small print says to expect 750Kbps down/100Kbps up. My routine speeds (as measured by their tool) have been ~500Kbps/15Kbps. It's worse in the middle of the day. After 2 months of trying to improve it by working with tech support and having multiple on-site technicians come out, I give up. After losing untold hours while on the phone and waiting entire days for technicians to arrive, its just not worth any more of my time. I'm going to "made due" with what I have and stop fighting with them.
My experience with Hughesnet has been overwhelmingly negative. But, there have been just a couple bright spots and I'd like to share them.
The onsite technician from South Bay Satellites was knowledgeable and professional. He did everything he could possibly do to fix the problem (including replacing the transmitter on the dish, replacing the modem, switching between multiple satellites and frequencies). It was particularly refreshing after experience with previous onsite technicians.
I spent hours banging my head against a wall for hours with both technical support and billing trying to get some resolution and compensation (refund) due to the poor service. Managers were able to do little or nothing and claimed there was no one higher than them to escalate to. Frustrated, I searched for fellow frustratees hoping that someone had found an escalation point -- and they had. I'm primarily posting this report to share it -- hoping it will help others as it helped me when I was a wit's end.
Call the Corporate Office, press 0 for the Operator and ask for Executive Customer Care.
Hughesnet Corporate 301-428-5500
For the first time, I got someone on the phone who listened and sincerely cared that I'd had such a horrendous experience -- and was willing to put his money where his mouth was. He gave me several hundred dollars in credit (refunding a couple months service fees and the service call). While it can't make up for the time wasted and frustration, it acknowledged there was a real problem and it was some compensation for the hassle.
Avoid Hughesnet if you can.
If you can't, document everything like you are going to court. You'll need it to negotiate with customer service to get a refund. Do _not_ assume the copious notes they appear to be taking when you call will ever be seen again -- nor that there will be even any record of your call.
San Jose, California